Industry experts agree that local factors have become increasingly important in search engine optimization (SEO).
Google has made it clear that local search is here to stay and you must optimize for local SEO. This is great news for small local businesses that are outranked by bigger companies.
If you own a small business, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the different ways to optimize your local search. If your business has multiple locations, that task is even harder.
Four Ways to Optimize Multiple Locations for Local SEO
1. Keep Your NAP Consistent
NAP is the acronym for your company’s name, address and phone number. Think of it as the online “thumbprint” of your business.
Keeping your NAP consistent is vital to creating a successful online presence for your business.
Search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, want to provide their users with the most up-to-date content available. Maintaining a consistent NAP is the simplest way to make sure your business information is relevant and accurate.
When you have multiple business locations, you need to stay on top of your company’s NAP across every web directory. You can use Advice Local to check your company’s listings.
2. Using Subdomains Versus Subfolders
Using subdomains or subfolders on your business’s website can help you build up an online presence for multiple physical locations.
- Subdomains, the most popular choice for multi-location websites, allow you to “piggy back” on your root domain value rather than create multiple websites with individual domain names. You can also optimize the subdomain instead of the root domain. For example, if you own the root domain quickplumbing.com, you can create subdomains for each of the cities where your company has a physical location, such as Denver.quickplumbing.com or Albany.quickplumbing.com.
- Subfolders, also referred to as subdirectories, offer an easy solution to optimizing for multiple locations, especially if you don’t have the manpower or resources to create multiple subdomains. For example, if your plumbing business has a location in Denver, you can create a subfolder called quickplumbing.com/denver.
3. Create a Listing for Each Location
Some big companies make the mistake of having only one online listing for their multi-location business. Whether someone is looking for information about your company on Google My Business, Yelp or any other platform, you should always have a separate listing for each individual location of your business.
Fortunately, Google My Business and most web directories allow you to hold multiple localized listings under a main account for your business.
4. Try Paid Search Marketing
Local SEO normally refers to strategies geared towards increasing organic traffic. However, paid search marketing can help draw more visitors to your company’s pages.
According to Google, 20 percent of all searches show local intent. That fraction climbs above 50 percent if you count only mobile usage.
Paid ads, such as Google AdWords, guarantee that your business will appear on the front page of search results. This is a great strategy for your short-term goals. You do have to pay per click, but you will get results immediately. In the meantime, you can build up your long-term local SEO.
When you use paid search marketing for multiple locations, you can receive campaign analytics much more quickly than with local SEO, which will help you individualize your approach for each location efficiently and effectively.
What is the biggest struggle you face in optimizing your multiple business locations?